I'm jumping on the soup bandwagon with other bloggers as they post soup recipe after soup recipe since the cooler weather already exists in most of the nation. Houston is having this, it's not summer, but it's not fall either, kind of weather. Basically cool in the morning, and hot the rest of the day. You eventually learn to dress in layers.
One of the most popular soups that have been popping up in my blog reading lists is of course, broccoli and cheddar soup. But then....I came across a cauliflower soup from the Pioneer Woman! I seriously love cauliflower in all its forms, sauteed, roasted, curried with potatoes and peas, it's delicious. Once I saw her recipe, I wanted soup, and I wanted it for dinner that night. So I combined broccoli, cauliflower, and cheddar to make a hearty, creamy, and comforting soup topped off with crisp bacon. Because bacon.
For this soup you must be a liker (a word?), or lover of broccoli and/or cauliflower. I am already assuming that you love cheese and bacon. Just please don't tell me that you don't.
I know chopping up broccoli and cauliflower can be intimidating when you see a vegetable that looks like a mini tree. Don't fret, let me go through an easy, not pretty way to get the job done. Pull off as many leaves as you can off of the cauliflower. Take a sharp knife, and cut off the hard stalk as close to the cauliflower as possible. Then cut your head (the cauliflower head) in half and just go at it with the chopping, cutting the larger florets into smaller pieces. Do the same with the broccoli, it's a little easier and if you want, you can chop up part of the broccoli stalk since it does get tender with cooking. It won't be all pretty florets and sunsets, but who cares. It's going into a soup and then into your mouth.
I cannot have soup just by itself, so if you would like a bigger meal, then add a side salad or a small sandwich. I made grilled turkey, swiss, and cranberry sauce sandwiches to go along with the soup. That is literally what was in the sandwich, so no recipe needed.
Broccoli + Cauliflower + Cheddar Soup
5 strips of thick cut bacon (I used Applegate Turkey bacon), chopped
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups stock (I used vegetable)
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 head broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar + extra for topping (sharp, mild, Colby, Wisconsin, whatever you like)
Heat a medium to large soup or dutch oven pot over medium heat with the oil. Throw in your bacon and let it cook until crispy. Take the bacon out with a slotted spoon onto a paper napkin and leave the fat in the pot. Add the garlic and onion and cook until softened and fragrant.
Add butter, and melt. Add flour, and whisk/mix until it turns a light blonde and smells nutty. This is your roux! Cook for about 2 minutes.
Slowly add in your stock, milk, and heavy cream and whisk to break up the roux clumps, if any. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.
Season with salt and pepper, tasting to make sure it is to your liking. Add cauliflower and broccoli, simmering until the veggies are tender. Turn the heat off, taste for seasoning. Add in cheese and stir until melted and combined.
Pour soup into bowls, top with bacon, parsley, and a few dashes of hot sauce.